A prayer request

With just under 50 days to go till the big day, Carolyn and I have been learning that the page-turn between chapters is a hard one, particularly when it happens in the middle of already-busy seasons and already-busy lives.
This past week, I moved out of my apartment and into the one that we’ll be sharing as a married couple … and by “I,” I mean “I packed my stuff up [see above] and then Carolyn and a bunch of our friends helped to move it all into the new place because I was teaching a discipleship class that night and it was the only night that either of us could do.”

This coming week(end), Carolyn moves her belongings out of her current house and into our apartment, and she moves herself to stay at a District Church friend’s a few blocks away until the wedding … and by “Carolyn,” I mean “Carolyn, me, and whichever friends can help on a holiday weekend.”

All that to say, this has been a challenging and tiring time for both of us — moving out, moving in, consolidating our stuff, getting rid of things, setting up a home, not being fully settled, flitting between homes — and I’ve definitely felt the need for God’s peace and strength to see us both through, even more so than when we were in the heat of wedding planning! So we’d really appreciate your prayers.

Seeking silence

“After the earthquake came fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.” (1 Kings 19:12)

You, O Lord, are the subtle inspiration hidden in our deepest instincts to seek out goodness and love and content us with the whisper of truth and presence.

Lord, if we desire you to be a part of our busy lives we need to find some cave of Aloneness where we can heed your voice and ponder your word with a clean heart.

Enable us and our children not to be afraid of silence.

Only from silence can come the depth of expression, the well-spring of beauty and common language that will help us interpret all the sounds of our noisy world.

Lord, help us to keep silent so we may listen better. Help us to abide in the silence of prayer so prayer can live in us—now and forever. Amen.

– Rev. Daniel P. Coughlin,
prayer at the opening session of Congress, April 23, 2009

(From Josh Dubois’ The President’s Devotional.)

9 Days

East Side Launch

NINE DAYS TO LAUNCH!!

It’s pretty exciting to see this community take off, as volunteers begin signing up to help out and join teams, as we talk through who we want to be and what we want to do and what we think God is calling us to as a new District Church community. Moreover, I went to a Miner Elementary event recently and, upon meeting both Principal Bunch and one of the heads of the Parent-Teacher Organization, was struck by how excited they are that we’re going to be there.

So, as we count down, I’d ask for your prayers:

  • For Miner Elementary School as they begin winding down for the school year; they have an event coming up on June 8 that will be a community spring fair, and it will be the first time they’re doing it. We’ll be helping out as well. Please pray for all of the logistics to come together and for people to show up and fellowship together.
  • For the East Side community as we begin weekly gatherings, that we might know unity and we might show hospitality to any that might come into our midst.
  • For me, as it’s been a busy month of preparation and I’m pretty tired. This holiday weekend I’ll be traveling to celebrating the wedding of some dear friends, which I’m looking forward to; but travel is never particularly restful for me, so I’m looking forward to some vacation time in mid-June. Pray for strength to do what needs to be done, for wisdom as I continue to lead, and for rest.

Thanks, friends. More good news coming soon!

P.S. Added more pics to our East Side album on Facebook.

Mourning

Yesterday was the Boston Marathon. Yesterday, two bombs killed at least three and injured over a hundred. My heart is so heavy from this.

Yesterday a series of bomb blasts in Iraq killed at least 42 and wounded more than 250. My heart grieves.

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

I believe you are angry, God, when your children treat each other this way. You are angry, God, because you love, and you are grieved to see your children hurt one another.

Bring justice, bring shalom, bring your kingdom.

And bring comfort to those who mourn.

In your name, Jesus, amen.

[Images from The Boston Globe & The New York Times.]

A First Step for a New Community

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

— Chinese philosopher Lǎo Zǐ

We had our first TDC East Side launch team meeting this last Sunday, and had over 30 people show up! We worshiped together, we sang together, and we prayed together (see below for one of my favorite pictures of 2013 so far), and so the exciting journey to launch a new District Church community and, more importantly, to impact another neighborhood for Christ, begins!

Please continue to pray for us as we come together as an East Side community, that:

  • leaders would step up and folks would get involved;
  • we would have wisdom and discernment to know how to be who God has called us to be in the places to which we’ve been called;
  • we would be able to find a location to begin meeting in (as you can see, we’re already pretty tight in the Shultzes’ living room!);
  • I would know the presence, peace and purpose of God as I step into leadership in a new way in this exciting, daunting, amazing adventure.

TDC East Side prayer

In other news, I said I was hoping to raise the remainder of the support I needed for 2013 by the end of this month. Well … not only did we meet the target, but we blew through it with a week to spare! So thank you, thank you, and thank you again, for your tremendous generosity and for backing up your words and prayers of support with your resources. I’m truly humbled.